Most African safari experiences offer day and night game drives.  Most people know what animals you can expect to see by day.  However, what animals can you expect to see by night!?

If the whole spectrum of African wildlife is on your radar, read on and find out why evening game drives are a must on Safari. Here are some unique animals to look out for…

African Civet

The elusive African Civet is found in the savannahs and forests of southern and central Africa. Weighing an average of 13kg, the African civet is the largest of the African Viverrids. Its body, features dark stripes and patches, with dark horizontal stripes on its hind legs. The mid-section is covered with spots and blotches and the forelimbs often have vertical stripes. The tail is slightly bushy and has black bands with a black tip. The markings on their faces are similar to that of a racoon with a black mask around the eyes. Civets have a short mane along their backs.  When they feel excited or threatened, it makes the animal look much larger.

You won’t find any civets out during the day, as they are predominantly active before sunrise and just after sunset. The best place to see them is in and around the Kruger National Park where they are seen regularly on night game drives.

Aardvark

Virtually hairless, aardvarks look similar to anteaters but surprisingly have no genetic connection to them; astoundingly they are actually from the same mammal family as the African Elephant.

They have short necks connected to a large body with an arched back and hind legs longer than their front legs. Similar to anteaters, they have an elongated head with a long protruding snout. Their thick claws on their forefeet allow for them to be able to dig up to 1m in only 15 seconds.

They can be found in a range of terrains across Africa, from dry savannahs to rainforests; essentially, wherever there’s an adequate termite supply for food and soft ground like clay or soil for burrowing, there’ll be aardvarks around.

Aardvarks are mostly solitary mammals and only come together for mating. While they are nocturnal, you might see them out during the day when they pop out for a little sun. They’re found in southern and most of central Africa.

Aardwolf

A species of hyena, the Aardwolf is a solitary nocturnal mammal with a diet comprising strictly of termites. Unlike the spotted hyena, the Aardwolf never developed a pack system.  This is largely due to the fact that food can’t be brought back to their den; hence why they forage alone. Their dens are usually the disused burrows of aardvarks, porcupines or springhares, however in the absence of such burrows, they are able to dig their own.

The Aardwolf’s coast is yellowish brown in colour and features several vertical black stripes. They have a short bushy, black tipped tail and a long, coarse, dark haired mane on its back, which rises when the Aardwolf feels, threatened or scared.

You can find the Aardwolf throughout eastern and southern Africa, except in the south along the coast. They prefer semi-arid, open plains, savannahs and grasslands where they live in burrows in the ground.

 There’s a range of other wildlife you might encounter on a thrilling night game drive including the shy and elusive Leopard, that can be seen during the day, however, are most active hunting during the night. Lions as well are nocturnal hunters; during the day you’re likely to find them sleeping or resting, while at night they’re on the hunt.

Experience a whole new side of the African bush, traversing vast landscapes in search of the nocturnal species on an exhilarating night game drive.  There’s so much to see and learn about. Be sure to go on at least one night game drive on your next African Safari to witness the wilderness of the African night.

References:  Thank you Singita, Animal Diversity, AWF, Kruger Park, andbeyond

 

 

 

 

We talk to our South American Travel Specialists about these two popular destinations… The pros and cons, the highlights, the food, the nightlife… Which country will you be heading to next?

A R G E N T I N A

Highlights

Perito Moreno Glacier

Located in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Los Glaciares Natonal Park, the Perito Moreno glacier towers over turquoise glacial water. This gigantic ice sheet is one of the most visited sites in Argentina.

San Telmo

The oldest district of Buenos Aires is San Telmo.  It is full of cobbled streets, old colonial architecture and shady plazas. The most popular attraction is the Sunday “Feria” (market).  Every Sunday locals and tourists fill up Calle Defensa and Plaza Dorrego to visit the many stalls selling antiques as well as hand-made crafts and souvenirs.

Food

Famous for its Parrillas (grill houses), you can’t go past a flame-charred steak in Argentina. Paying tribute to its Italian heritage you’ll find delicious thick crusts on homemade pizza.  Argentina’s gourmet adventure doesn’t stop there, Buenos Aires boasts an innovative, fresh menu of world-class food across many of its fine restaurants.

Nightlife

In Argentina you can expect a vibrant nightlife that starts very late and lasts until sunrise. Buenos Aires is famous for its boliches (nightclubs), bars and cafes. You’ll find that the city is buzzing just about every night on the week.  On the weekend,  is when you will see it at its peak, with everyone out for the night.

 Pros

  • Diverse landscapes – Patagonia, Atlantic coast, Andes, the Pampas
  • Buzzing metropolitan capital city –Buenos Aires
  • Culture ­– Tango, soccer
  • Gourmet cuisine

Cons

  • Argentina is notorious for being more expensive than the rest of South America
  • Money ­– don’t carry large sum notes around and always ensure you aren’t receiving counterfeit money back as change.

B R A Z I L

Highlights

Iguassu Falls

275 falls spanning 5km from the Argentinian side to the Brazilian side, Iguassu is a highlight of both countries. There are many walking trails offering spectacular views. You will be mesmerized by the huge clouds of mist churned up by the force of the Falls; and will hear the calls of brightly coloured toucans, parrots and humming birds that live in the surrounding jungle.

Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon is an ecosystem unrivalled in size as well as diversity. Travelling across the jungle is an adventure you don’t want to miss.  The Amazon River itself is the largest in the world and spans over eight countries. Taking a boat ride on this incredible river is just one of many ways to take in the spectacular nature and wildlife of the Amazon Rainforest.

Food

If its variety you’re after, Brazil has you covered when it comes to cuisine. Each region has their own specialty dishes, from delicious fresh-water fish from the Amazon and the Pantanal through to unique African-influenced dishes in Bahia. You’ll also find German as well as Italian influences in the south and traditional classics like beans and pork from Minas Gerais. The foodie hub of Brazil is definitely, São Paulo, home to 14 Michelin-star restaurants.

Nightlife

Brazil’s dynamic nightlife starts with its staple: the boteco; these casual, open-sided bars are scattered all across the country. It’s a place where people gather from just about everywhere. Get your night started with a chat over an ice-cold chope (draft beer) or caipirinha  (lime, sugar and sugarcane alcohol cocktail).

Pros

  • Beautiful beaches as well as the amazing Amazon
  • Diverse wildlife – toucans, pink dolphins, jaguars and so much more
  • Buzzing nightlife
  • Adventure lovers paradise – kayaking, horse riding, surfing, hiking trails
  • Culture – carnival, samba, soccer

Cons

  • Brazil is huge so unfortunately there never seems to be enough time to see everything
  • The country is generally safe but some caution should be taken in big cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo especially if you’re travelling alone

In conclusion, whether you decide to visit Argentina or Brazil, you will certainly find plenty of excitement in both cities. There are so many highlights with amazing food, buzzing cities and nightlife as well as wildlife and landscapes.  There are plenty of things to see and do in each of these amazing South American countries.  So, what are you waiting for?!

References: Thank you Easy Voyage, Lonely Planet – Argentina, Lonely Planet – Brazil and Student Universe

Antarctica is a magical place and is often referred to as the last true wilderness on earth. Each region of Antarctica offers voyages that vary in itinerary sights and stop offs, length and activities. This month we’re taking a closer look at the sub-Antarctic Islands; read on to discover where they are, what they offer and the kind of journeys you can expect.

Where are the Sub-Antarctic Islands?

The sub-Antarctic Islands are located roughly 1300km north of the Antarctic Circle. The main islands travelled to are South Georgia and the Falkland Islands.

South Georgia is 167.4km long and 1.4 – 37km wide and is probably the most visited sub-Antarctic island.  The British claimed South Georgia when Captain James Cook landed there in 1775.  Since then, the history of South Georgia is rather miserable. The sealer industry took the island over in 1786, killing millions of seals up until 1916. In 1904 whaling stations were established in South Georgia and were in operation until they were abandoned in 1965. At present, only a few scientists at a research station inhabit South Georgia.

The Falkland Islands are approximately 483 km from mainland South America in the South Atlantic Ocean.  There are approximately 2,563 people living in the Falkland Islands with approx. 2,115 of them living in the capital Stanley.

What do they offer?

South Georgia

Visited by famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, South Georgia was the island he journeyed to and found help for him and his crew after their ship the Endurance sunk during their Trans-Antarctic Expedition.  This was the first attempt to cross the Antarctic continent from coast to coast via the South Pole. Half of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s crew was stranded on Elephant Island.  Remarkably, he was able to get help and each one of his 18 crew members survived. If you venture to South Georgia, you can actually go on an expedition that re traces the steps of the famed explorer on his quest for help.

In terms of wildlife, South Georgia is buzzing. Since the mass massacres of both whales and fur seals that almost sent them into extinction, the populations have managed to rapidly increase over the years.  Fortunately neither are close to extinction anymore. 95% of the world’s fur seal population arrive to the island in summer and half the world’s southern elephant seal population come here to breed. You can also find masses of Macaroni, King and Gentoo penguins, as well as a small few of Adelie, Chinstrap and Rockhopper penguins.

Falkland Islands

A birders’ paradise, the Falkland Islands are home to a wide range off birdlife including five penguin species including the Magellanic penguin, 80% of the world’s population of black-browed albatross, as well as numerous species of waterfowl including the endemic Falkland steamerduck. The waters of the Falklands feature various species o whale and dolphin. In addition, breeding populations of fur seals, sea lion, as well as elephant seals regularly visit the island.

When visiting the Falkland Islands, because there are people permanently living there, you can expect to visit the main town and explore how the nation survives and is largely self-sufficient.

 What kind of voyages can I expect?

On voyages to South Georgia and the Falkland you can expect to enjoy your days with expert guides, including naturalists and marine biologists, exploring the shores filled with crowds of penguins and seals. Like other Antarctic cruises, expect to take trips on inflatable Zodiac boats across the seas. Furthermore, if you’re a thrill seeker you can also engage vigorous hikes or sea-kayak excursions.

Due to the strong human history within both these islands, you can also expect to visit various cultural and/or historic sites where you can learn about the history of these incredible islands.

The sub-Antarctic islands have so much to offer and in addition to everything else, what really makes them great is the fact that you don’t have to cross the Drake Passage to get to either of them.

References:  Thank you Latitude, Oceanwide-Expeditions, Cool Antarctica, Falklands, Popular Mechanics, Poseidon Expeditions, One Ocean Expeditions, Aurora Expeditions

Mexico is one of the most interesting places on Earth. There are significant archaeological sites, beaches you’ll fall in love with, luxury resorts, a rich culture and a great party atmosphere. There are heaps of experiences to discover in this colourful country. Read on and discover our top 5 ‘must do’s when you travel to Mexico.

#1 – Teotihuacán, State of Mexico

Approximately 50km away from Mexico City, the UNESCO World Heritage site, Teotihuacán was built between the 1st and 7h century A.D and inhabited by a pre Hispanic group of at least 25,000 people. The site is characterised by the impressive size of its monuments – especially the Temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon, each of which have been arranged according to geometric and symbolic principles. A highlight of the site for visitors is that, you can actually climb to the top of the two main, Sun and Moon pyramids and enjoy the impressive view from above.

#2 – Las Coloradas, Yucatán

Las Coloradas is a spectacularly pink lake.  The pink colour is created by microorganisms and algae living in the water as well as the high concentration of salt in the lake and surrounding area.

A spectacle to marvel at, unfortunately you can’t swim in it anymore. But don’t let that deter you from witnessing this incredibly beautiful pink lake in Mexico.

#3 – Zihuatanejo

If you’re looking for a beach resort area away from all the crowds, look no further than Zihuatanejo. The name might ring a bell; it was the place Andy dreamt of and finally escaped to in The Shawshank Redemption.

Unlike many resort towns, Zihuatanejo is a small, friendly fishing town, filled with history and culture. Lined with cobblestone streets and lively restaurants, it delivers a truly authentic atmosphere with breathtaking beaches and without masses of people everywhere.

Sailboat cruises, horseriding along the shore, water sports or just relaxing by the beach, Zihuatanejo has something for you.

#4 – Chichen Itzá, Yucatán

One of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, how can you not visit the impressive Chichen Itzá. Hailed one of the supreme Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico, it is renowned for its central pyramid. If you’re looking for a historical site to visit in Mexico, this is it. And the pyramid isn’t all that’s there, there are an array of other ruins to explore that you’ll remember forever.

#5 – La Catedral Metropolitana, Mexico City

Of course we had to mention Mexico City’s main attraction, La Catedral Metropolitana. Impressive in size and stature, the cathedral is even more breathtaking from inside. Short on time, the Cathedral’s central location places you at the heart of the main plaza. This area is filled with dozens of other architecturally and historically captivating buildings, including the Palacio Nacional.

What are you waiting for? Travel to Mexico and enjoy the holiday of a lifetime.  Experience culture, history as well as breathtaking beaches…

References:  Thank you UNESCO, The Culture Trip, Everything Playa del Carmen, Rome by the hour

Africa’s tallest mountain at 5,895m above sea level, many are keen to conquer Kilimanjaro. Being the fourth highest of the seven summits, its no surprise that many make it to the top and unfortunately many don’t. Read on for some top tips that will help you prepare and succeed in the ultimate adrenalin rush and an adventure of a lifetime, climbing Kilimanjaro.

#1 Take a longer route

While you may want to finish the trek faster, we honestly can’t recommend a longer trek enough. The more days you take, the more time you have to acclimatise and thus the lower your risk of altitude sickness. Statistics also show a significantly higher success rate for 8 day treks compared to 5-7 day treks.

That being said, if you’re staying in huts and not camping, the chances of success are greatly increased and popular routes like the Marangu Route have success rates between 80 and 90%.

#2 Stay extra hydrated

When you’re at such a high altitude, dehydration occurs much faster. The altitude and dehydration can lead to headaches, fatigue and acute mountain sickness. To avoid ending up in a situation where your climb is more of a struggle or even unbearable, drink lots and lots of water.

Be sure to bring electrolyte packets for your water, not only to make it taste better but also to replenish all the lost electrolytes during the climb.

#3 Pack for the climate

Packing for a holiday is difficult. Packing for a mountain climb is even more of a challenge.

Most important is clothing.  In short, layers are key, and cotton is big no. The climate of the mountain can vary and because of this, you’ll need to pack accordingly. There’s a range of packing guides and the African Travel Specialists are here to help and answer any questions you have. But here are a few tips to keep in mind when packing:

  • Wear your hiking boots on the plane, they’re bulky and heavy so wearing them saves space and weight. Given you can only bring roughly 15kg, wearing and not packing your boots, (something you wouldn’t be carrying anyway) is highly advised.
  • Don’t bring anything extremely valuable that would break your heart if it got lost or stolen.
  • Don’t pack cotton t-shirts or underwear. Cotton absorbs moisture and does not dry fast at all. It’s best to pack breathable, synthetic, and moisture-wicking clothing
  • Bring enough socks for the duration of the trip and make sure they’re thick and moisture wicking.
  • Bring sunglasses and high UV protection sunscreen
  • If you’re not staying in huts, pack lots of wet wipes, chances are you wont be showering for a few days
  • Bring high quality batteries for your camera. Be sure to keep these near your body at all times to keep them warm and prevent them from freezing
  • Lastly, rent anything you don’t have already, won’t need after the climb. Things like a sleeping bag or highly insulated shell jacket are more worthwhile to rent.

#4 Practice and prepare

Without a doubt, the only way to ensure your success is to practice and prepare yourself for the climb. Preparation really is paramount, there’s no way you’d run a marathon without building up to it, and the same goes for a mountain climb.

Compared to other climbs like Everest, Mt Kilimanjaro doesn’t require any technical mountaineering skills and it is fairly suitable for beginners. Despite this, you still need to prepare, the altitude especially will be a shock and if you haven’t experienced something even remotely close to it, you’ll be in for a wild ride. In essence you’ve got to prepare your lungs for low oxygen levels or you’ll really struggle.

#5 Positivity is key

Our final tip is to stay positive and optimistic. The only way to get to the summit is to believe you actually can. Take the climb one step at a time, enjoy the journey and while the summit is the end goal, don’t forget to appreciate where you are and the spectacular scenery along the way. There might be times where you feel awful and don’t think you can go on, but it gets better, lots of rest and water will get you through. Every step you take is one step closer to the summit and its not a race to the top, it’s a journey.

References:  Ultimate Kilimanjaro, National Geographic, Enroute Traveler, Mount Kilimanjaro Guide

Consider Opatija for your next Croatian holiday.  Opatija offers an elegant seafront promenade, historic sites, famous parks, outdoor summer concerts as well as theatre.  Additionally, you can expect plenty of stunning hotels offering a variety of wellness experiences.

History

Opatija’s rich history extends through periods of Renaissance, Venetian, Neo-Baroque, Gothic, as well as many more. Explore a town where the completely different styles of architecture in various buildings and sites seamlessly blend,  adding to the exquisite charm of this gorgeous city.

Visit the famous St James Church. The history of this town dates back to the building of the church and monastery.  The town itself being named, Opatija which is the Croatian word for ‘abbey’.

Located in the centre of the city, next to the 15th century church of the same name is the St James Park.  This features a beautiful neo-baroque fountain sculpture of the Greek God of the sun, Helios as well as  goddess of the moon, Selene.

Another historic site of the town is Villa Angiolina, Opatija’s first holiday house, built in 1844 by Iginio Scarpa. Villa Angiolina hosted notable guests over the years including historical figures like Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, and the Croatian Ban Josip Jelačić.

 Wellness

Renowned as a wellness destination since the 19th century and the first in Croatia, Opatija maintains its reputation with an array of wellness spas and resorts all around the city. Its initial reputation stems from its therapeutic microclimate and pristine sea mountain air. Dozens of spas line the city streets offering relaxing and rejuvenating treatments and experiences. Standards in Opatija are exceptionally high, with a long history of the town being the best in Europe for wellness and rejuvenation.

If it’s a relaxing holiday for the body mind and soul that you are after then there’s no better place for your Croatian holiday than Opatija.

Outdoor Summer Concerts and Theatre

On the green peninsula of the famous Angiolina Park, is where you’ll find the famous Open Air Theatre; hosting an array of musical performances, with everything, from, operas, ballets and musicals to contemporary jazz, pop, as well as rock concerts.

The theatre’s unique location along the coast is surrounded by stone walls and lush trees.  The setting alone, makes it one of the most picturesque outdoor venues.  If it’s music you’re after, look no further than Opatija’s open-air theatre .  Here you will find an array of festivals and concerts to keep you entertained all summer long.

Hotels

Amadria Park Hotel Milenij

The luxury Hotel Milenij overlooks the beautiful Kvarner Bay and offers guests the finest 5-star hospitality and accommodation. A highlight of this gorgeous resort is the luxury ‘Royal Spa’. Offering a range of exquisite treatments inspired by the Austro-Hungarian Empress Sisi, that often used to visit Opatija for wellness in the 19th century.

The Royal Spa is designed to revitalise and renew the body, mind and spirit. With luxurious massages as well as spa treatments using ingredients like gold and chocolate. Furthermore, the wellness experience is enhanced with a Finnish sauna, Turkish bath, ice fountain, heated relaxation beds, salt bath, spa treatment room as well as a relaxation zone overlooking St James Park.

Amadria Park Grand Hotel 4 Opatijska Cvijeta

Situated at the centre of Opatija along the waterfront is the Grand Hotel 4 Opatijska Cvijeta.  This property offers luxury accommodation with exceptional facilities that include a ‘Wellness Oasis’.

Relaxation and rejuvenation are at the forefront of this resort with the ‘Wellness Oasis’ being one of the main enticements. Offering an indoor/outdoor pool as well as a therapeutic pool, both of which offer underwater massage treatments.  Enjoy a Finnish sauna with crystal therapy, a Turkish bath, a fitness/yoga room and so much more.

The place to be for nature, wellness, entertainment and history, Opatija has more to offer than what one might expect. There is always plenty to see and do exploring the city and learning of its’ intriguing history.   The perfect finish to every day in Opatija is experiencing pure tranquility and relaxation at this inhouse relaxing wellness resort.

References:  Thank you Visit Opatija, Festival Opatija and Amadria Park Hotel & Spa

Ideally situated in the remote part of South Luangwa National Park, the charming Bilimungwe Bushcamp offers a remote oasis in one of Zambia’s best National Parks. The camp itself sits near the Luangwa River. It can be found in a gorgeous mahogany grove overlooking a series of waterholes that is always busy with resident wildlife.

Accommodation

Private and intimate, Bilimungwe offers 4 safari style thatched chalets. Accommodating a maximum of 8 guests with queen beds in two chalets and king size beds in the other two. The chalet interiors are designed to reflect the camp’s surrounds of mahogany trees; highlighted through the use of natural materials throughout the beautiful wooden interior and striking handmade wooden furniture. Furthermore, the natural wood, coupled with vibrant African textiles creates an authentic Zambian safari atmosphere.

Each chalet offers a relaxing open-air waterfall shower, perfect for cooling down and freshening up after an afternoon game drive. The wildlife experience doesn’t stop at game drives; experience the great African bush and its inhabitants from the comfort of your own private deck.  Perfectly positioned the deck overlooks the waterholes where you can see the resident hippo as well as elephant and giraffe.

Activities

Game drives

The quintessential aspect of a safari is without a doubt, a game drive. And they really are on of many highlights at Bilimungwe. Guided by the charming and knowledgeable, Manda Chisanga, or another of the camp’s expert guides, these game drives offer an exhilarating nature and wildlife experience.  Finish the afternoon with relaxing sundowners along the edge of the river.

Bilimungwe offers night drives.  Set out on an adventure in search of the nocturnal wildlife of the Zambian bush. The stark contrast between driving out in the sun and in the darkness with nothing but the light of the stars and headlights lighting the way, offers guests unparalleled wildlife experiences.

 Walking Safaris

A guided walk through the African bush offers an authentic “one with nature” experience in the remote African bush. With nothing separating you from the wild except the soles of your shoes, enjoy a guided adventure of a lifetime. Discover native plants and learn about the various birds that migrate through the region.  If you’re lucky, (while maintaining a safe distance) you might catch a sneaky glimpse of pride of lions devouring a kill.

 Stargazing

A fairly recent addition to Bilimungwe is the impressive ‘Star Deck’.  This is the perfect place for guests to truly discover the magic of the African sky. Guides at the camp have expert knowledge on astronomy and can tell you all about the constellations. The stargazing experience is heightened by an impressive telescope allowing you to see beyond what the naked eye can see. This stargazing experience is a true highlight of the camp.  We can assure you, that you won’t find guides with the impressive knowledge of the African bush as well as the African skies anywhere else in Zambia.

References: Thank you Bush Camp Company, Classic Portfolio,  and South Luangwa

As if being the sunniest spot in Croatia isn’t enough, we give you 5 amazing reasons to visit Hvar Island…

 1. Food

Seafood in Hvar is some of the best in all of Croatia. So, it makes perfect sense that Hvar  has a reputation for great restaurants.  Here you can find the freshest seafood, traditional Croatian cuisine all coupled with local Croatian wines. At every corner you’ll find a restaurant offering mouth-watering dishes guaranteed to satisfy anyone and everyone.

Read on for two of our favourites :

Passarola

Located next to St Stephen’s cathedral in Old Hvar, Passarola is a fine dining restaurant.  The menu consists of dishes encapsulating traditional and innovative Dalmatian cuisine.   Each dish is made with local seafood as well as fresh produce. The restaurant itself offers a relaxed, elegant ambience and service is of the highest standard.  It’s no surprise, Passarola has been named “Best restaurant” in the town of Hvar.

Lungo Mare

Perhaps the best family restaurant (in our opinion) in Hvar is Lungo Mare.  Here you can find fresh, authentic Croatian cuisine.  Lungo Mare specialises in Seafood.  However, don’t forget to try one of many types of meat cooked on the massive grill on the terrace.

 2. History

Hvar Island is home to the oldest town in Croatia, Stari Grad.  The island itself,  is home to the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia.   Colonised by the Greeks in 384 BC,  Stari Grad was once called Pharos.

Following Grecian rule, Hvar subsequently went through an array of various ruling nations before being returned to Croatia when the country declared independence in 1991.

Having so many nations ruling the island over time, it’s unsurprising the island features so many historic sites. It’s extensive history is just one of many reasons why Hvar is a must for anyone visiting Croatia

 3. Luxury Hotels

Hvar Town is the place to be if you’re looking for opulent luxe accommodation. Known as the Monaco of Croatia, Hvar Town quite literally exudes luxury as well as plenty of glamour.

Check out some of our favourite hotels in Hvar Town…

Adriana Hvar Spa Hotel

Adriana Hvar Spa is Croatia’s premier spa hotel. the luxurious located on the Hvar Water Promenade just 100m from the town square. Designed to create the ultimate experience of relaxation and romance, Adriana provides a luxury spa retreat for you to revitalise and rejuvenate on your European escapade.

Riva Yacht Harbour Hotel

Centrally located in the heart of Hvar, along the promenade, Riva offers contemporary luxury accommodation constantly staying on trend since opening in 1927. A long history of excellent service and luxurious accommodation, Riva Yacht Harbour Hotel is a lavish hotel displaying modern glamour and luxury in every aspect, from accommodation and dining to world-class service.

 4. Beaches

Hvar is well known for having some of the best beaches in Croatia, offering picturesque forest scenery and gorgeous Mediterranean waters. Here are two of our favourites

Uvala Dubovica

One of the most visually stunning beaches in Croatia, Uvala Dubovica, is located only 8km away from Hvar Town. This pebble beach is beautiful in its simplicity; not offering any water activities like jet skiing or parasailing. Instead enjoy this beach simply by lying in the sun and basking in the Mediterranean sun looking out to the glistening azure waters.

Grebišće, Hvar Island

Tucked away near the town of Jelsa in Hvar’s northern coast, lies the beautiful sandy Grebišće beach. Surrounded by a lush pine forest, offering shade throughout the day, this beach is perfect for a dip in the water or relaxing on a deck chair on the paved concrete slabs. Perfect for families with young kids boasting shallow waters and very soft sand.

5. Sveti Nikola 

Sveti Nikola rises 628 meters above sea level making it the is the highest peak on the entire island of Hvar.  You can see it above the Southern Shore of Zavala and Sveta Nedjelja.  At the top of the quaint 15th century chapel of St Nicholas, you will see a stone cross that has stood the test of time.   You may find the climb a little treacherous, but the view and is unparalleled.  It’s the ideal spot to see neighboring islands such as Brac, Korcula, and Vis, and the perfect spot to watch the sunset.  No trip to Hvar is complete without climbing the great Sveti Nikola.

So, what are you waiting for, make your way to Croatia and experience all that the incredible island of Hvar for yourself…

References:  Thank you Culture Trip, Sun Cani Hvar, Visit Croatia, Rough Guides, Adriagate, and Otok-Hvar

We dig a bit deeper into one of Peru’s most unique destinations, discover Lake Titicaca. We’ll tell you why it is a ‘Must go’ destination, the one thing you simply ‘Must do’,  what you ‘Must visit’ as well as what you have ‘Got to see’…

Why go?

Situated at 12,500m above sea level in the Andes Mountain range, Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world.  South America’s second largest lake, Titicaca boasts a rich as well as very intriguing history. There are many traditions from the local tribes’ culture that are still practiced today.

Known as the ‘Birthplace of the Incas’ and the ‘Birthplace of the Sun’, Lake Titicaca’s history tells tales of the birth of the first Inca King, Manco Capac and subsequently the creation of the Inca tribe at the Lake. Prior to the Inca civilisation at the lake, the Pukara, Tiwanaku and Collas cultures inhabited the land.

The history, culture and remarkable scenery is just the beginning.  There are many reasons why you can’t afford to miss ‘Lake Titicaca’ on your next trip to Peru.

Must do

There’s alot to do in and around Lake Titicaca. However, a boat ride or canoe trip through the various islands on the Lake is a ‘Must do’.  Journeying across the lake, you’re able to get an insight to the various local communities on the lake and their culture.

The most famed of the island communities, is the ‘floating’ islands of the Uros.  Over 60 islands are made from living Totora reeds floating on the lake. The Uros people make most of their income from tourism and many generously open their homes to visitors.

Must visit

A definite ‘Must Visit’ is the rock island of Taquile. This is one of the few islands where the people live a traditional lifestyle, completely free from modernisation. This peaceful island is well known for its textile production and Taquile Island knitting. This has been recognised by UNESCO as ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage’.  The men of the Taquile Island community do the knitting.  Each item of clothing is unique and individually handcrafted. All their creations are made as well as sold on the island only. So, if you’re looking for an authentic souvenir, this is the place to shop.

Got to see

If you’re visiting Lake Titicaca, the ruins of Sillustani are something you have got to see. Approximately 30km from the main town of Puno,  Sillustani sits on the shores of Lake Umayo. Sillustani is a cemetery of the Colla people that once lived on Lake Titicaca. Members of the Colla community who were of great importance and died were buried in towers.  These towers are known as chullpas and today, are found in the hilltops of Sillustani.  You can still see some of the remaining taller ones standing at 12m high.

These chullpas housed families, as well as their belongings and food to carry them into the afterlife. When the chullpas were built,  there was a small hole opening that faced east. This hole was only large enough for one person to get through.  Immediately after burial that hole would be sealed. Today, nothing remains within the burials.  The chullpa structures themselves are well preserved and are quite a sight to see.

References:  Thank you Machu Travel Peru, Inspired by MapsThe Culture Trip and Lonely Planet

Our recently launched Golfing in India group itineraries has been a hit in the marketplace. We’ve had a few Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about our India Golf Tour.  So, we thought we’d share our answers for you to reference if you find yourself planning a golfing getaway in India…

What is the golf dress code?

The golf dress code at each of the Golf Clubs varies.  However, most require guests to wear golf shirts at all golf facilities. Dress shorts, or trousers are recommended for men; skirts, shorts or trousers are recommended for women.

In addition, many clubs have a strict no denim policy.  To enter certain clubrooms, and lounges, there is usually a no shorts policy.

Are Green fees and Caddy fees included in the price?

Yes, both green fees and caddy fees at all Golf Clubs in the itinerary are included in the price of your tour.

 Do I need to bring my own golf set?

If you wish to, you can bring your own golf set, however the cost of golf set hire is included in the price of the tour.

How many rounds of golf are included in the package price?

One round of golf per Golf Club visited during the tour is included in the package price. In the ‘India Golf Tour’, there are 5 rounds of golf included (one at each Golf Club)

If you have any further questions we haven’t answered here, please contact India Tours and Travel Specialists for more information and to book your next golf getaway…